I don’t travel all too often to work. Last year, budgets were revised, and I was on maternity leave when some of them came up. Business trips just weren’t a part of the plan that year. Once I returned to work. I didn’t have any issues with it. It meant that I didn’t have to be away from my family, and I could focus on doing my best at adjusting to working mom status.
This year, I’ve been assigned a few trips. The first one was last month. It was less than a week, and luckily, and within driving proximity (a little over 2 hours). I wasn’t going to be completely alone, and the days and nights were filled with plans. Hopefully, it meant that the trip would go by in a blur.
At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Aside from last year during my leave, this trip was an annual function. It marked the start of some activities within my industry and line of work, and it was just a part of the things that I do. However, one single thought changed my line of thinking. This was going to be my first business trip without my son.
The strange thing was that this would not be the first time that I would be without him. Last year, we took a family trip, and my husband and I took a separate side trip without our son. Our son was with us the first part of the trip, and we left him with family for four days. We came back to him, and finished the trip as a trio. I suppose the difference in that trip was that we chose to do that, and that I was with my husband. I chose the trip, I felt control over it. I was comfortable with going without my son. That was my own decision.
The business trip was different because I’d be alone. I didn’t get to choose to go to this trip. I didn’t decide to leave my son. Additionally, I wouldn’t have my husband with me. Instead, he’d be responsible with caring for our son on his own once he returned for work. Somehow, this felt a lot more stressful to me. I began to dread it. I would miss my son. I would be anyway from him because someone else said I had to. The thoughts ran through my mind up until the moment I left my home.
Upon arrival at the hotel, I felt sad. I missed my son already. Once I spoke with my husband, I felt even more alone. During meetings, I would look at his pictures. I would wonder what he was doing without me there.
To help me during the rest of the trip, my husband would call me in the morning and at night so that I could keep in touch. I missed a few of those calls, and I would feel terrible about it. It almost felt like another transition in motherhood; just one more thing to adjust to in working mom life.
In hindsight, I think that feeling was right. The first day was uncomfortable, but only because it was different. As soon as I focused on work, it wasn’t as unbearable. I would get pictures during the day, and sometimes, I’d feel a little sad that I wouldn’t be able to see him in person. But, I looked forward to seeing him again.
I also didn’t expect to enjoy being alone. It was great to have that some extra time on my own, and at a reasonable hour. After my meetings and dinners ended, I had time to look at my own things, and catch up on reading and the blog. I was able to sleep in when it was possible. I felt a little like my old self, and it was surprisingly enjoyable.
Working mom life is just full of transitions and adjustments! My next trip is coming up in a few weeks, and it is international. Given the distance, I know it’ll be a little difficult. I’ve got one trip under my belt, so I’ll be a little more prepared for my next one !